Guinea Dialogue and Possible New Date for Elections

After the state-sponsored attack on opposition leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo’s, home on June 19, the opposition decided to drop out of the dialogue.  This past weekend Said Djinnit met with both sides and late on Sunday, over the airwaves a communique from Djinnit was read statin the opposition would return to the dialogue on Monday.  Yet, Monday morning, the opposition was a no-show.  The opposition stated that they never received a written invitation to the meeting on Monday and, therefore, would postpone its appearance until Tuesday.  As of this writing, the inter-Guinean dialgue is underway at the presidential palace.

Between Sunday night and Monday morning, two things were taking place.  First, the discussions held with the opposition over the weekend took place with a subset of opposition leaders who presumably wanted and needed more time to confer with the entire opposition leadership.  Djinnit’s communique, especially after it was read over the airwaves, had jumped the gun and put the opposition in a bad spot.  In the past, there have been times, when the opposition has refused to participate in a dialogue meetings because of the lack of a formal written invitation.
In any event, the Dialogue is underway today and two items are on the agenda, both are conditions for re-suming the dialogue:
-discussion and agreement on a security policy to protect opposition leaders and their supporters from state-supported violence
-a timetable for two international experts to assist the opposition with review of pertinent election materials
As far as setting a new date for elections, since the June 30 date is no longer possible, the CENI sent the opposition a proposed timetable outlining the number of days it might take between the call to elections and election day.  The opposition responded by suggesting that the components of the timetable need to be lengthened and that the rainy season, the height of which is during the month of August should be avoided. Those doing the speculating figure that the new date will be September 29, 2013.
Stay tuned . . .

(VIDEO) Full Coverage of Attack on Diallo Motorcade and Home, Fifty Injured – In Conde’s Guinea, Always Carry a Video Camera

The following video provides full coverage of what happened in Guinea on Wednesday, June 19, 2013, when police attacked the motorcade of opposition party leader, Cellou Dalein Diallo, as he was on his way home from an appointment at the courthouse in Dixinn.  It also shows the attack on Diallo’s house by police and RPG thugs.  This is an important video in that it provides proof that the police and RPG thugs were the aggressors, that their attacks were premeditated, and that an assassination of Cellou Diallo may have been in the cards.
In its entirety, this video provides a compelling picture of how those who are charged with protecting the people of Guinea are intent on harassing and harming them.
Because this video is an hour long, here is a guide for particular points in the video you may want to check out.
-The video opens with a short montage of video clips highlighting unnerving scenes of the police attacks on Diallo’s motorcade and injuries of opposition supporters.  
-After this introduction, for the next thirteen minutes or so, you see the departure of Diallo’s motorcade for his court appointment in Dixinn, the spirited crowd which accompanies him, and his arrival at the court where some of his supporters attempt to enter with him, but are turned away by police. There’s some pushing and shoving, but no attack, no blood and the confrontation ends quickly.  Diallo leaves the court and  the motorcade heads back to his home with supporters following in a procession.  At minute 15:27 a huge truck races into the middle of the crowd from the right side of the road. It appears that ahead of the big truck, a couple of other police pick-ups have abruptly pulled into the procession at the same time.  As this is happening, a small group of police officers are lying in wait on the left side of the road and then start hurling stones and tear gas canisters at the procession– some opposition supporters are badly injured.  The attack by the police was completely unprovoked.
-After this attack, the opposition supporters catch their breath but it is not long before the motorcade and procession of supporters come under attack again. At the 17:32 minute mark, all hell breaks loose. The motorcade is about to pass Donka school, when tear gas rains down.  A couple of police trucks, moving at high speed, careen down the left side of the screen towards protesters.  At the last second, the trucks pull to the curb and like a “jump out” squad, they descend from the truck and chase protesters in every direction.  More tear gas is set off and people are panicked, running frantically to get away from the police.  You will see two women running in the middle of the street, trying desperately to escape the scene. One woman dressed in yellow and orange, does not get far and is apprehended by the police on the right of the screen.  Someone needs to make a poster of this moment — the cop holding the woman’s arms behind her back with the words:  “This is what democracy looks like in Alpha Conde’s Guinea.”  God only knows what happened to the other woman dressed in blue and white who was running in the middle of the street trying desperately to make it to an opposition vehicle for help.  As the motorcade leaves the Donka School area the tear gas is so thick and dark, it looks like volcano ash.  At this point, the police have turned on the head lamps of their vehicles.
-At the 19:20 minute mark, Cellou Diallo gets out of his car after police vehicles have closed in on his car and pushed back and forth on his bumper.  There is concern that the police will kill him on the spot.  He tells the police to stop the attack, that it is not a demonstration, but only people returning from the court.  The police respond by hurling tear gas causing Diallo and others to duck as the police often use tear gas canisters to hit people in the head.  And just in case their intent wasn’t clear, the police shoot their guns into the air.  By this time, many of those in the motorcade have abandoned their cars and are walking ensemble to Diallo’s home.  
-For the next two hours, police and RPG thugs already stationed around Diallo’s house hurl stones and tear gas into his yard and home. The number of injured and those overcome by tear gas mounts.  At the 23:54 minute mark, a man is bleeding profusely seeking refuge inside Diallo’s home with a head injury –  a rock or tear gas canister is the apparent cause.  A few ambulances arrive to take the most seriously injured people to the hospital, but not all make it out because the police closed all exits from Diallo’s home.  Many more injured people arrive at Diallo’s house.  At the 29:24 minute mark, you will see a young man lying on the floor with two large gashes in the right side of his forehead — a police officer STABBED HIM IN THE HEAD WITH A KNIFE.
-At the 26:57 minute mark the gendarmerie, who Cellou Diallo called earlier for help, is sitting on the patio waiting from him.  A woman seizes a golden opportunity to give them hell to the gendarmes for what happened (presumably, the gendarmerie was not involved in the attack, just the police) and she says, “Cellou Diallo is a citizen.  You can’t kill a citizen like that!” You can see the gendarmes are uncomfortable with her lecture and one tries to get her to stop, but she continues the grilling.
-Several times during the video, Diallo provides accounts of the attacks.  But, the best clip of Diallo describing what happened begins at the 42:00 minute mark.  The audio is clear and Diallo’s description is quite detailed.  The scene is at Diallo’s home, PM Fofana has just finished speaking and Ambassadors Laskaris of the US and Cochery of France, EU representative Van Damme and the Gov. of Conakry, Resco Camara are in attendance.  Diallo ends his remarks by saying his party has decided to withdraw from dialogue talks.
-The video ends with a walk-through of the damage of the site by government officials and foreign dignitaries.

Opposition Leader Diallo: “They Said They Would Reduce My House to Dust”

with criminals (Conde et al., ed. note)
(Article translated into English via Google with editing by Guinea Oye)
At Saturday’s regular meeting of his UFDG party, Diallo said he was determined to continue the fight started for the
advent of a society of justice, peace and democracy in Guinea.  He also praised those who fought bravely to prevent
the police and young thugs who promised to reduce his house to dust, he said. “You saved my life,” he added.
Following, Diallo says his supporters have shown that they are upright and ready to defend their leader because,
he says, since these incidents, young volunteers sleep at his door, all night, all day. “They have not been paid.
They expose themselves to protect the president of the UFDG.”
“What is more shocking is the distortion of the facts. People came out to support me.  Along the way to the
courthouse, there were no incidents. We arrived at court and, after meeting with the prosecutor, we headed
back home. Along the way, the police came to disperse the activists with tear gas, they attacked us with hatred
and violence.”   In that moment, he said he descended from his car to ask the police to stop the violence against
citizens who had gone to attend a public hearing in court because no law forbids it. “The police started throwing tear
gas in front of me. Against this background, we arrived at the house. Afterwards, young thugs and police were
deployed to the sea to attack my home. They hurt a lot of young people. They said they would reduce my house
to dust and the youth resisted.” For Diallo, their struggle with against RPG militants is only beginning with Alpha
Conde. In his eyes, no policeman dares to attack his home without the tacit support of Alpha Condé. “For Alpha
Condé, my activists are not citizens of Guinea. While several of our members have been killed, Alpha Conde has
not lifted a finger to move them. Had he assumed his responsibilities, we would not have fifty supporters dead.
For Diallo, the solution is to get up to say” no.”
“What does Alpha Condé believe? He must know that Guinea belongs to all of us. There will be sacrifices, but the
truth will prevail. The truth is on our side. We are all Guineans and Alpha Condé should understand we will not
accept this. Remain upright.  We demand respect for our dignity. “
“You must understand that, if we do not fight, we have nothing with Alpha Condé. They are criminals  and we
have the right to live in Guinea.  If we continue the fight, God will soon… solve our problem. We need to join hands.
We have national and international solidarity. We have decided to suspend our participation in the dialogue. We wil
not sit down with criminals to discuss. All victims of violence should be compensated. “

Opposition Communique Following the Bloody Attack on Politicians and Supporters at Home of Cellou Dalein Diallo

Created Saturday, June 22, 2013 10:39 p.m.
Opposition Communique Following the Bloody Attack on Politicians and Supporters at Home of Cellou Dalein Diallo

While the ADP, the Collective, the CDR and the FDP in respect of commitments to maintaining a climate of peace continue to work to consolidate the achievements of the Inter- Guinea during the security forces still trodden ground the Government’s commitment to end the harassment and differential treatment experienced by opposition leaders.Indeed, Elhadj Cellou Dalein Diallo, President of the UFDG in its commitment to the institutions of the Republic replied to the notice that was sent by the judicial authorities, following a complaint by a senior official of the State.

In solidarity, leaders, activists and opposition supporters accompanied him in order and discipline at the public hearing of the Court of First Instance of Conakry where 2 Elhadj Cellou Dalein Diallo has asserted his rights. On the way back, the police have attacked the peaceful demonstration by spraying tear gas and chasing him to the president of the UFDG home.

Hooligans landed by chartered vehicles for this purpose and supported by the police then surrounded his home by shooting live bullets and by projecting a shower of tear gas and stones.

This seriously undermines the inalienable right of every citizen to have an inviolable home and persecution suffered by political leaders and activists at home Elhadj Cellou Dalein Diallo recorded a record 50 wounded, including two by gunfire in a still critical condition.

ADP, the Collective, CDR and FDP deplore and strongly condemn these acts of violence and express their deep sympathy and full solidarity with the El Hadj Diallo, his family, UFDG and all the victims of these acts of provocation and barbarism of another age.

As a result, the Republican opposition decided to suspend its participation in the inter-Guinean dialogue until normal conditions are ensured security for political leaders and all kinds of obstacles to the free exercise of their activities are effectively removed. It calls upon the continuation of sponsors and perpetrators of violence in order to be put an end to the impunity that has characterized the treatment of abuses by security forces in recent years become recurring term.

ADP, the Collective, CDR and FDP thank the Ambassadors of USA and France as well as the Representative of the European Union and the wider international community for their total support during these sad events .

The Republican opposition calls on all its members and supporters to be vigilant and remain mobilized to preserve the gains made through the long struggle of the people of Guinea for the rise in our country, an era of genuine democracy and respect for human rights.

Conakry, June 21, 2013.

The Alliance for Democracy and Progress (ADP)
The Collective of Political Parties for the Completion of the Transition
Club The Republicans (CDR)
The Union Front for Democracy and Progress (PDF)

(VIDEOS): Let’s Get Straight About Who the Aggressors in Guinea Are

Unfortunately, the Guinean opposition must spend an inordinate amount of time correcting the numerous lies and propaganda scenarios put forth by the government about the nature of violence in Guinea.  Three videos follow.
As Cellou Diallo and his motorcade returned from a court hearing on Wednesday morning, state security forces intimidated those in the motorcade with a heavy presence of officers.  Close to Diallo’s home, two minibuses arrived, filled with Conde’s RPG thugs.  As Diallo and those in his motorcade rushed towards the house, they realized it was surrounded already with RPG thugs throwing stones.  For the next two hours both the police and the RPG thugs hurled rocks and tear gas at Diallo’s house. Many people, as you will see, were seriously injured and overcome with tear gas.  The police prevented ambulances from arriving to pick up seriously injured opposition supporters, many of whom were STABBED in the head by RPG thugs,
It’s not certain whether rock throwing is a new skill requirement of the police but, as you will see in this video, they are damned good at it. 
The Agressors:  Cops and RPG thugs throwing rocks at Diallo’s home
Below is an interview with Dr. Fode Oussou Fofana (in French) who provides the political context behind the attack on the home of Cellou Dalein Diallo and the defamation lawsuit Malick Sankhon filed against him.  A while ago, Diallo and other members of the opposition accused Sankhon and others, including Sekou “Resco” Camara, Governor of Conakry, of paying RPG thugs to attack merchants and opposition supporters, primarily in Peul neighborhoods, resulting in serious injury and death.  Sankhon slapped a lawsuit on Diallo, but was nowhere to be found for the court hearing on Wednesday morning. The opposition believes it was Sankhon who set up the attack at Diallo’s home on Wednesday.  Dr. Fofana breaks it down for you.
The Politics Behind the State-Sponsored Aggression and Violence Against Diallo, supporters, and other opposition.
If these are the aggressors of which the government speaks, may they fill the streets of Conakry.  According to Diallo, several of the women who accompanied him to court were arrested by police on the way back because they were not able to run away quickly enough. 
Supporters of Cellou Dalein Diallo Accompany Him to Court

Guinea Opposition Withdraws from Dialogue Talks, UFDG Issues Detailed Statement About How Attack Happened Condemning Gov’t.’s Propaganda Machine to Shift Blame

Posted on June 20, 2013

Wednesday’s violence that followed the appearance of Diallo in court has political consequences. The coalition of opposition in the collective, ADP, CDR and FDP, after a meeting on Thursday, decided to withdraw from the negotiating table.

Political opponents of the regime of President Alpha Conde condemned the “police repression” against Elhadj Diallo before expressing their solidarity with the boss of the Union of Democratic Forces of Guinea (UFDG). The meeting was held at the headquarters of the UFDG. Apart from Lansana Kouyaté and Kassory Fofana, all political opposition leaders were present at the conclave. We will return.

Alpha Oumar Diallo et Mamadou Aliou Barry pour


The National Directorate of UFDG followed with surprise, different press releases issued by the Government and other public services, including the Press Office of the Presidency of the Republic and the General Directorate of the Police Service, reporting on violence following the passage of the President UFDG to the Court of First Instance (CFI) in Dixinn. These releases, as usual, assign responsibility for attacking citizens walking along the route and vandalizing shops and to activists of the UFDG who were the ones who were attacked.

The National Directorate of UFDG categorically denies these unfounded allegations. Allow us, rather, to present the facts as they occurred. President of the UFDG, Elhadj Diallo decided to respond to the subpoena that TPI Dixinn had sent him last April. Around 9:30 am, the President of the UFDG, with some opposition leaders, activists and supporters of the UFDG, left his home in order to arrive at TPI Dixinn at 10:15 am. The prosecutor’s office where he was received, along with other opposition leaders and in the presence of counsel, the counsel for the complainant informed Diallo that his client, the complainant, was willing to withdraw its complaint for a criminal mediation. The leader of the UFDG said he was not prepared to enter into any negotiations with the complainant, but if he decided to withdraw his complaint, he would act. The prosecutor said that he took note and he informed Elhadj Diallo that he will agree with the complainant. At this point, the leader of UFDG went back to his home, accompanied by his supporters.
When Diallo’s entourage arrived at the Donka school, they were joined by two pick-up trucks of police who tried to disperse the procession with tear gas and stones. Some young marchers reciprocated and the police were left on the side of the road. Thus, the procession continued he slowly to the point of the Total petrol station in the former Oasis club where Diallo’s entourage was again intercepted by a group of more numerous and violent police. They sprang into action against the procession with tear gas and throwing stones while making arrests of activists, especially women who could not run. At one point, the police were directly behind the car of the President of the UFDG who got out and asked the police to stop the violence against his supporters who were not protesters, but citizens returning from an open court session.
The police did not want to listen and instead kept throwing tear gas and stones and fired into the air. It is in these conditions qu’Elhadj Cellou Dalein and what remained of his retinue headed towards his home.  A few minutes later to the surprise of all, tear gas bombs and stones began to rain within the property of Diallo’s home. According to witnesses who were standing outside, police received support from three minibuses full of hooligans.  For two hours, the home of Cellou Dalein was subjected to this shower of stones and tear gas which was thrown on both sides of the street towards the sea  The results of the violence in the home of the President of the UFDG was 17 serious injuries including one person with a gunshot and at least 20 heavily damaged cars.
To this, another 33 people were wounded, primairly in neighborhoods of Ratoma,, two by bullets (now in a coma) outside the home Elhadj Diallo (Diallo stated yesterday that ambulances were not allowed to leave the area of his home to take the more serious victims to hospital because security forces had blocked roads, Ed., Guinea Oye).  All that happened took place in front of many journalists from the national and international press and in the presence of leaders of the Republican opposition. Clearly these are the security forces supported subsequently by hooligans who call themselves Knights of the Republic, who are solely responsible for the attacks against the President of the UFDG and the activists during the day of Wednesday, June 19, 2013. National Party leadership will draw all the consequences.
Conakry , June 19, 2013 The National Directorate of UFDG

EU Electoral Experts Trying to Disassociate from CENI’s Fraudulent Election – Their Letter to CENI Prez

The European Union’s electoral experts working on the legislative elections wrote a letter to Bakary Fofana, CENI president this past Friday.  In a nutshell, it says:  “The jig is up and we are out of here.” 

The problems cited in their letter to Fofana are nothing new and Fofana’s duplicitous dealings have been there from day one — just ask opposition representatives to the CENI.
The EU team decided that, if it was to preserve a shred of its credibility, it needed to pull the fire alarm.
Here are excerpts from their letter:    

I regret to inform you that as to the technical consultation on the timing of the additional review, the technical assistance of the European Union has been systematically excluded from internal consultations . . .
After the facilitation of the political dialogue, the CENI was charged with proposing a new consensus timetable, taking into account the urgency and exceptional circumstances of the electoral process, making it the duty of the technical assistants who accompany the CENI to report risks arising from poor technical assessment of operations and the lack of consultation with all the actors in the structure and the technical experts.
It would be unfortunate if the CENI, which has been the subject of strong criticism throughout the dialogue, cannot take advantage of this opportunity to improve its credibility by offering a realistic timetable that is professional and acceptable to all stakeholders in the process.
Given the present context in which you appear to signal both a lack of transparency and an interest in improving collaboration between the technical experts and the CENI, we will not be able to continue this support, which necessarily involves suspension of our activities, putting into question the support of the EU in the electoral process in Guinea.
In order to restore a correlation of trust and satisfactory working conditions, it would be highly desirable to organize a meeting with the CENI, experts and donors to review the modalities for intervention for international technical assistance with the CENI.
June 14, 2013
Stephanie Vergniault
Axel Gysel
Codjo Kangala
EU electoral experts